Zimbabwe Republic Police & National Prosecuting Authority rapped over violent crimes

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THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) are not doing enough
to bring perpetrators of violent crimes and human rights violations to book, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has said.
This comes as the police are yet to charge seven of its members who were arrested on Monday for throwing
teargas canisters into a bus packed with passengers in Harare.

The ZHRC said Zimbabwe, which has ratified various international and regional human rights instruments, is legally obliged to ensure that all its authorities, agencies and institutions entrusted with functions under domestic law, observe, respect, protect, promote and uphold human rights.

“The ZHRC calls upon the … police and the NPA to always swiftly investigate and prosecute perpetrators
of horrific crimes and practices and strengthen protection measures for the fruitful enjoyment of the right to life.
“They (ZRP and NPA) should take a holistic approach in dealing with such violations, including active efforts to prevent their commission and ensure their full criminalisation and the effective prosecution of alleged perpetrators,” said the national constitution-created commission.

With the nation still trying to come to terms with the recent ritual murder of Tapiwa Makore (7) of Nyamutumbu Village in Murewa, the ZHRC implored law enforcement agencies to swiftly deal with such vices.

“In addition, the authorities must protect all individuals on their territory and jurisdiction against human
rights violations by non-state actors, including secret societies and witch doctors. “The heinous murder and mutilation of innocent people is disheartening, appalling and terrifying and should be denounced in the strongest
terms by our society and the nation as a whole.

“The commission, therefore, wishes to reinforce the inalienability of human rights, in particular, the right to life and further acknowledges the sanctity of life of  all persons.

“While there have been some investigations and arrests of perpetrators of these terrible and horrific crimes of murder and mutilation, the law enforcement agencies can do better with the aid of the government, the communities and society at large,” the ZHRC said, adding:

“The Ministry of Justice, should train law enforcement officials, district administrators, magistrates and other officials to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate all cases of human rights violations and criminal offences arising from harmful practices,” the commission said, adding that bad apples within the law enforcement apparatus should face the music.

Meanwhile, police commissioner g e n e r a l Godwin Matanga has declined to disclose information on
whether the s e v e n arrested officers were in custody or not.

“We are going to charge them under the Police Act. What is going to happen is that the officers who are carrying out investigations will choose the appropriate charge from the Police Act and definitely charge them.

“But as far as I’m concerned, right now I can surely say they performed their duties improperly. So don’t worry, everything is being handled properly,” Matanga said at a press conference on Friday on the country’s state of
security.

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